Title:
COMPOSITE TOYS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A composite toy comprising two or more toy sections. In some embodiments, the composite toy has a first toy section and a second toy section configured to selectively couple to the first toy section at a first interface. In some embodiments, the composite toy includes one or more alterable features. In some embodiments, at least one of the alterable features includes a thermochromic material.



Inventors:
Patean, Nicolae G. (Alta Loma, CA, US)
Seward, Jani (El Segundo, CA, US)
Chan, Patricia (Chino Hills, CA, US)
Kelly, Emily (Torrance, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/555821
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
11/02/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H3/36
View Patent Images:
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20080220689Construction set for constructing a user-definable apparatusSeptember, 2008Mimlitch et al.
20090209164Figurine For Displaying a Locket of HairAugust, 2009Eisen
20050191930Toy plane with an inflatable fuselageSeptember, 2005Foster et al.
20050066911Squeaking dog toyMarch, 2005Lubeck
20030232565Floppy flying toyDecember, 2003Silverglate
20050164600Two-wheeled running toyJuly, 2005Sakai
20030162475Interactive toy and method of control thereofAugust, 2003Pratte et al.



Primary Examiner:
YOUNG, SCOTT E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLISCH HARTWELL, P.C. (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A composite toy comprising: a first toy section including one or more alterable features; and a second toy section configured to selectively couple to the first toy section at a first interface, and including one or more alterable features, wherein at least one of the alterable features includes a thermochromic material.

2. The toy of claim 1, wherein at least one of the alterable features includes a washable material.

3. The toy of claim 1, wherein the interface includes an interface material adapted to removably couple the first and second toy sections.

4. The toy of claim 1, further comprising a third toy section configured to be coupled to at least one of the first and second toy sections at a second interface.

5. The toy of claim 1, wherein the second toy section is configured to couple to the first toy section at a plurality of predetermined interfaces.

6. The toy of claim 1, wherein the first toy section is configured to represent at least a portion of a human and the second toy section is configured to represent at least a portion of an animal.

7. The toy of claim 6, wherein the first toy section includes an arm configured to support the second toy section.

8. The toy of claim 1, wherein the first toy section is configured to represent at least a portion of a human having a particular occupation and the second toy section is configured to represent an item associated with the occupation.

9. A stylable composite toy comprising: a first toy section configured to represent at least a head of a human and including at least one alterable feature; and a second toy section removably coupled to the first toy section at an interface, the second toy section configured to represent at least a head of an animal and including at least one alterable feature.

10. The toy of claim 9, wherein at least one of the first and second toy sections includes an interface material adapted to selectively couple the first and second toy sections.

11. The toy of claim 9, wherein one or more of the alterable features includes a thermochromic material.

12. The toy of claim 9, wherein one or more of the alterable features includes a washable material.

13. The toy of claim 9, wherein the first and second toy sections are configured to couple at a plurality of predetermined interfaces.

14. The toy of claim 9, further comprising one or more accessories configured to change the appearance of one or more of the alterable features.

15. The toy of claim 14, wherein one or more of the alterable features includes a thermochromic material and at least one of the one or more accessories is adapted to activate the thermochromic material.

16. A beauty preparation composite toy comprising: a first toy section configured to represent at least a head of a female human and including at least one thermochromically alterable feature; a second toy section configured to be removably coupled to the first toy section and further configured to represent an animal; and one or more accessories configured to removably couple with the first and second toy sections.

17. The toy of claim 16, wherein the at least one thermochromically alterable feature is configured to represent hair.

18. The toy of claim 16, further comprising cosmetics adapted to change the appearance of the first toy section.

19. The toy of claim 16, wherein at least one of the first and second toy sections includes an interface material adapted to selectively couple the first and second toy sections.

20. The toy of claim 16, further comprising interface material adapted to be coupled to at least one of the first and second toy sections.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/733,592 entitled “Hair Styling Composite Dolls,” filed Nov. 4, 2005, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

Children and young adults are often interested in imitating adults with regard to personal appearance. For example, girls play dress-up with dolls and their own appearances. To practice applying cosmetics and styling hair, styling heads may be used that include portions of manikins to practice creating various looks. Toys including alterable features also provide additional play options for users than toys without.

Examples of toys having alterable features are found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,165,476, 2,381,663, 2,919,502, 2,968,104, 3,048,941, 3,808,736, 4,070,790, 4,361,981, 4,403,962, 4,559,021, 4,626,225, 4,810,196, 4,874,345, 4,874,676, 4,979,924, 4,993,988, 5,129,853, 5,299,968, 6,120,340, 6,527,618, 6,629,872, 6,638,133, 6,736,692, and U.S. Design Pat. Nos. 216,996 and 357,701 and U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2005/0106991, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety and for all purposes.

Examples of doll hair are found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,765,123, 5,083,967, 5,180,325, 5,205,776, 5,234,370, 5,607,338, 5,677,059, 5,895,718, 6,156,842, 6,749,642, and 6,770,364, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety and for all purposes.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure relates generally to composite toys. More specifically, it relates to composite toys that allow a user to alter one or more features of the toys.

The advantages of the disclosed composite toys may be understood more readily after a consideration of the drawings and the Detailed Description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of an exemplary composite toy having alterable features and including a first section in the form of a girl and a second section in the form of a pet dog.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the composite toy of FIG. 1 with the head of the first section removed and showing an interface between the first and second sections.

FIG. 3 is a side view of an alternative exemplary composite toy, similar to that of FIG. 2, showing interface materials.

FIG. 4 is a front view of the composite toy of FIG. 1 showing the first and second sections in a styled configuration.

FIG. 5 illustrates application of cosmetics to an exemplary composite toy section.

FIG. 6 illustrates hair styling of an exemplary composite toy section.

FIG. 7 illustrates accessories suitable for use with the composite toys of FIGS. 1-6.

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary composite toy including a first section in the form of a mother, a second section in the form of a child, and third and fourth sections in the form of stuffed animals.

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary composite toy including a first section in the form of an artist and a second section in the form of an easel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary composite toy 10 that includes two or more sections 12 that may be manipulated independently. The sections may be two-dimensional or three-dimensional as is appropriate for the particular form of the toy. The sections may be representative of various relationships, such as between two or more living things or between a living thing and an associated object. For example, the sections may represent various family relationships such as a parent and child relationship, a sibling relationship, or a romantic relationship. Alternatively, or in addition, fantasy characters such as a movie character having a side-kick, or other relationships, such as exist between an owner and a pet or building, or between seasonal or occupational characters, such as Santa Clause, a reindeer, and a Christmas tree. In some versions, the relationship may be that between one or more persons having a particular occupation and one or more objects associated with that occupation.

In some versions of the toy, the toy includes a first section and a second section, such as shown for toy 10 in FIGS. 1-4. In the example shown, the first section is configured to represent a doll 14. Doll 14 may be configured to represent a female figure, male figure, action figure, superhero, and the like. The second section shown is configured to represent any suitable pet 16, such as cats, dogs, birds, turtles, fish, dinosaurs, fantasy animals, and the like. The toy sections may resemble people of various ages, dogs of a variety of breeds, and other characters or animals of different styles or characteristics. Each of the toy sections may be configured or shaped to include traditional features of the thing it is intended to resemble. For example, a toy section intended to resemble a human may include a head having hair, eyes, a nose, a mouth, and the like, and a body having shoulders, a torso, arms, and the like.

The toy sections may be integrally formed from common materials in a particular configuration or may be formed separately. Separately formed toy sections may be permanently or removably coupled together in any suitable manner. In such a configuration, the toy may include one or more interfaces 18 at which the toy sections may be coupled. In some versions, the toy sections are configured to be coupled via nesting, interlocking, interfitment, or other matching geometry, such as by one toy section nesting within the other toy section. In the examples shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a smaller toy section 16, such as resembling a pet, may be tucked in a suitable space formed in a larger toy section 14, such as supported by an arm of a toy pet owner. One or more of the toy sections may be configured in a number of poses, positions, or styles. For example, in the version of toy 10 illustrated in FIG. 1, the doll may hold the pet on the left side, on the right side, or substantially in front of the doll. The heads, arms, paws, or other features of the toy sections may similarly be positioned or disposed in any suitable or desired manner.

The toy sections may interface via any suitable interface materials 20, such as tapes, glues, hook-or-loop materials, snaps, magnets, and the like to join the toy sections. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the interface materials may be positioned at predetermined locations. For example, the toy sections may include magnets 22 or hook-or-loop material 24 to couple the toy sections together. These materials may be positioned at predetermined locations, such as the chest of the doll and the back of the dog, the arm of the doll and the underside of the dog, and the like. In some versions of the toy, users may be provided with such materials to modify the toy, such as to attach interface materials to the toy at locations of the users' choosing.

The sections of the composite toy may be interchangeable with sections of other composite toys. For example, users may trade pets with one another, with the pets being configured to couple with a variety of doll sections. In some versions, the toy sections may be configured to couple with several toy sections. For example, the doll section may be configured to link arms with other doll sections, hold more than one pet, or any other combination suitable for the form of the toy sections.

The toy sections may include movably or fixedly coupled components. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, the head 26 of the doll section may be coupled to the torso 28 by a joint 30. In some versions of the toy, the head may be movably coupled to the torso in a manner to resemble the range of motion available to a human. In other versions of the toy, the head is permanently or integrally formed with the rest of the toy section. The toy sections may include any other suitable joints depending on the configuration of the toy sections. For example, the upper portion of the torso may include shoulders and arms and corresponding shoulder and elbow joints. The composite toy configuration may be adapted for use with full-bodied toys, such as dolls that include legs and lower body features. Composite toy 10 may be configured to include one or more stylable toy sections that permit, for example, styling the hair and/or makeup of the toy sections. The positions of the remaining body parts may be formed in a predetermined configuration to resemble a posture or pose for the composite toy. A variety of differently configured composite toys may allow users to select one or more combinations of component toys that are most pleasing to the user. In the exemplary toy of FIG. 1, the toy section resembling a human may be configured as a styling doll having only the head and upper portion of the torso.

The composite toy may include alterable features 32 that a user may manipulate to alter the appearance of the sections. For example, one or more of the sections may include features that change color and/or position, surfaces configured to temporarily or permanently receive colored materials, components configured to couple with accessories, and the like. In configurations such as those shown in FIGS. 4-6, the alterable features may be suitable for practicing cosmetics and hair styling.

One example of an alterable feature is hair 34, which may include stylable hair suitable for the section. For example, the doll section shown in FIG. 4 may include hair configured to represent the look and feel of human hair. Similarly, the pet section may include hair configured to represent fur. However, the toy sections need not include matching alterable features. For example, one toy section may include hair while the other toy section includes feathers or other materials suitable for the type of toy section. When present, hair 34 may be formed from natural materials, such as human hair or wool, or a durable synthetic material, such as nylon. FIG. 1 illustrates the stylable hair of the composite toy in a manner substantially unstyled, whereas FIG. 4 illustrates the composite toy in a styled configuration. The hair may be affixed to the toy section using any appropriate method including, but not limited to, adhesives, stitching, and other suitable methods of rooting. The hair may couple to the toy sections in a manner that allows for adjustments in the length of hair that is visible. The hair may be removable so that a user may change the color of the hair or replace the hair if it should become damaged. Any suitable materials and configurations may be used for the stylable hair. Examples of stylable hair configurations and materials are illustrated in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,083,967, 5,234,370, 5,677,059, 5,895,718, 6,156,842, 6,736,692, 6,749,642, and 6,770,364, each of which is incorporated herein by reference in their entirety for all purposes.

As shown in FIGS. 4-6, composite toy 10 may include a facial sculpt 36 that may resemble a human female face. Toy 10 may be available with a variety of facial sculpts. For example, users may collect a plurality of facial sculpts as a set. The facial sculpts may be different from one another to provide a variety of different ethnic-based complexions and eye and hair colors so that each user is able to enjoy a facial sculpt that is similar to their own. Composite toy 10 may include only a face, or may extend to include a neck and shoulders so that jewelry may be included or hair styles of various lengths may be practiced.

As depicted in FIG. 5, the composite toy may include various cosmetics 38 that may be applied to alterable features 32 of the toy sections using any suitable applicator 40, such as a brush, pencil, or sponge. The cosmetics may include any of a variety of cosmetic types, for example, eye shadow, pencils, lip gloss, blush, mascara, and the like. The cosmetics may be adapted for application to composite toy 10 or a user's face. It should be appreciated that composite toy 10 may take a variety of other forms upon which artistic renderings may be made, such as clowns, animals, graffiti walls, canvases, and the like.

Alterable features 32 may be made of washable materials. For example, the hair may be washable to remove any cosmetics that were accidentally spread into the hair or any temporary hair dyes that were applied to the hair. The facial sculpt may be washable so that the user may practice a variety of cosmetic applications.

Alterable features 32 may include color changing features. For example, one or more of the features of the toy sections may include thermochromic materials. Thermochromic materials are materials that change color in response to predetermined temperature changes. The thermochromic materials may be applied to or included in the desired regions of the composite toy in a number of suitable manners. For example, the plastics, resins, or other materials that make up the desired regions of the composite toy may be blended with thermochromic materials. A thermochromic material may be painted on the desired portions of the toy, such as on the lips and/or eyelids. When the facial features include thermochromic materials, the color of the surface of the face may change in response to temperature. The colors, quantity, and location of the thermochromic materials may be selected to provide the desired color change affect depending on the feature or region being affected.

Thermochromic materials applied to the lips of the facial sculpt may be adapted to resemble natural lips at one temperature and lips coated with lipstick at a second temperature. The user may pretend to apply the lipstick using an applicator dipped in water or other fluid of a suitable temperature. Other methods may be used to change the temperature of the desired facial feature, such as using a heated fan or blow dryer, the body heat of the user, or other heating methods. Similar to the described example of changing the color of the dolls lips, other facial features may include thermochromic materials. For example, the eyelids, the cheeks, the nose, or other facial features to which makeup is commonly applied may include thermochromic materials. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, the applicator may be used to apply water to change the color of eyeshadow shown on the facial sculpt.

The color patterns of the pet may be affected by thermochromic materials. A user may be able to change the color of one or more parts of the body of the dog by changing the temperature of the dog. For example, the dog may change between a tan dog and a black dog. Similarly, limited portions of the dog's body may include thermochromic materials such that changing the temperature causes the dog's body to change from resembling a short-haired dog to a long-haired dog. Additionally or alternatively, the thermochromic materials may be adapted to cause the dog's hair to appear messy and unkept at one temperature and clean and brushed at another temperature. Such use of thermochromic materials may provide additional ways for the user to interact and recreate with the composite toy.

The colors of the thermochromic material and inks may be selected so that the color of the color-changing features matches that of the surrounding area before the temperature change and is different from that of the surrounding area after the temperature is changed. Any desirable combination of colors may be used for the inks, paint or other coloration systems used to color the various features of the composite toy. For example, a thermochromic material applied to the eyelids may change the eyelids from a flesh-toned color to a blue color. Similarly, the thermochromic material applied to the lips may change from a natural lip color to a red color. The thermochromic material may change between two colors, with one color adapted to match or blend with the surrounding area. The thermochromic material may change between clear or transparent to a desired color responsive to the temperature change, such that the underlying color shows through until the user changes the temperature to effect the color change.

Any suitable thermochromic material may be used, such as the thermochromic materials disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,028,118, 4,421,560, and 4,720,301, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference. The thermochromic material may be mixed with a film forming resin, an appropriate solvent, and a stabilizer when required.

FIGS. 4, 6 and 7 illustrate several accessories 42 that may be used with the composite toy. The accessories may coordinate between the toy sections. The accessories may be adapted or sized such that one is suitable for the smaller toy section and the other is suitable for the larger toy section. For example, the necklace or scarf 44 of the girl may match a collar or scarf 46 of the pet, as shown in FIG. 4. Similarly, two or more accessories of the same or different sizes may be provided to suit the user and/or one or more of the toy sections or an accessory may be sized or adapted to be used by both the user of the composite toy and the larger toy section or both the smaller and larger toy sections.

The accessories may be used to alter the appearance of various features 32. As shown in FIG. 6, a curling iron 48 may be used to curl hair 34. The accessories may be used to activate any included thermochromic materials. For example, the curling iron may be used to change the color of a lock of hair. The curling iron may include a heater and a plug to couple to a power source or an internal power source, such as a battery, may be used to dampen thermochromic hair, or may be aesthetic only. Curling irons of various diameters may be provided for use on various toy sections and/or a user.

The accessories may include jewelry and other aesthetic components, such as shown in FIG. 7 and including a brush or comb 50, a bracelet 52, hair clips or bands 54, hair extensions 56, a tiara 58, combs 60, barrettes, necklaces, charms, tags, pendants, brooches, lockets (not shown), stickers 62, face gems, glitter (not shown), and the like depending on the particular configuration of the toy.

FIG. 8 illustrates another exemplary composite toy 10. As shown, the composite toy may include several toy sections 12, such as representing a mother 64, a child 66, and one or more pets or stuffed animals 68, 70. The toy sections may be configured to be re-arranged by a user into any desired combination and/or configuration. The toy sections may be configured to be altered through the application of cosmetics, washable paints, and accessories, and/or may include thermochromic materials.

FIG. 9 illustrates another exemplary composite toy 10 in which a toy section representing an artist 72 is combined with a toy section representing an easel and canvas 74. As shown, the canvas region includes an alterable feature 32. A user may apply permanent or removable paints or inks to the canvas to draw an image of the user's choosing. In some versions of the toy, the canvas may include a predetermined image that is formed from thermochromic materials and temporarily visible, such as upon application of water to the canvas. For example, a user may use the paint brush shown in FIG. 8 to apply water to the canvas to show a predetermined painting.

The toy sections may be mounted to each other or to a base 76. As shown in FIG. 9, the base may include an interface material 20 over a portion or the entirety of a surface for coupling of the toy sections to the base along interfaces 18.

The composite toy may include compartments to store cosmetics and/or accessories. For example, the toy may include one or more drawers, shelves, and the like, as is suitable for the particular configuration of toy 10. In the exemplary toy of FIG. 9, base 76 includes a drawer 78 for storage of accessories 42, such as painting supplies or applicators.

The composite toy may be fabricated from any suitable material, or combination of materials, such as plastic, foamed plastic, wood, cardboard, pressed paper, metal, or the like. A suitable material may be selected to provide a desirable combination of weight, strength, durability, cost, manufacturability, appearance, safety, and the like. Suitable plastics may include high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), or the like. Suitable foamed plastics may include expanded or extruded polystyrene, expanded or extruded polypropylene, EVA foam, or the like.

Although the present invention has been shown and described with reference to the foregoing operational principles and preferred embodiments, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The present invention is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variances. The subject matter of the present invention includes all novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions and/or properties disclosed herein. Inventions embodied in various combinations and subcombinations of features, functions, elements, and/or properties may be claimed through presentation of claims in a subsequent application.